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All-star lineup expected for WSI



For the second year in a row, the Garnier Fructis World Skiing Invitational will take centre stage at the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival, with more than $50,000 up for grabs in the Salomon Big Air and Salomon Superpipe/SuperHit competitions.

Although the list of athletes changes from day to day, at press time the list of competitors was as impressive as any we’ve seen in the four years of the WSI.

It all takes place on Saturday, with the Superpipe/SuperHit competitions taking place on Blackcomb from noon to 2 p.m. The Superpipe is an open jam format contest where the skiers squeeze in as many runs as they can into a fixed period of time, with their best run counting towards their final score. The SuperHit contest is an athlete-judged contest where the best trick in the Superpipe walks away with the prize.

The Big Air taking place under the lights from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Get there early for the Big Air, as a crowd of up to 10,000 spectators is expected.

Salomon Big Air

Mark Abma – Mark is from Langley, lives in Whistler, and can be found at just about every high profile new school skiing event on the calendar. He’s a strong, aggressive skier, but has a lot of style. At the U.S. Open, he was fifth in the Slopestyle, and fourth in the Big Air. He also took the Atomic Superpipe at home, and he wants nothing more than to take a WSI title. He skis for K2, K2 Clothing and Smith.

Iannick B. – Iannick B. hails from St-Georges-de-Champlain, Quebec, and was fifth in the WSI Big Air last season and sixth behind Abma in the U.S. Open Slopestyle. He skis for Salomon, Orage, Silver Cartel and Arnette.

Phil Belanger – Phil divides his time between his hometown of Lac-Beauport, Quebec and Mammoth, California, and is quite simply one of the most dangerous skiers in sport. Not only does he dare to go bigger than anybody, you get the sense that he would go even bigger than that if physics and gravity would allow it. This year the Dynastar, Phenix, Smith, Goode, Level, and D-Structure sponsored skier was sixth in the X-Games Superpipe.

David Crichton – Hailing from Manotick, Ontario, the former freestyle skier turned heads at the WSI two years ago with a win in the slopestyle and place second in the Big Air – at the age of 17. Since then he has gotten better and bigger, and is ranked among the top freeskiers in the world. He won the SuperHit contest last year after landing a huge D-Spin 900 that cleared about 70 feet in distance. He currently skis for Dynastar, Silver Cartel, D-Structure, Spy, Hansen’s, Giro and DNA.